All posts by siyanhuang2017

What to consider before adopting a Siberian husky

By Siyan (Jen) Huang

Huskies are cute, but they can also be big trouble-makers. The dogs have been bred to run, so they need plenty of space and frequent outdoor exercise. They are independent thinkers, so they are relatively hard to train. Those furry coats shed a lot, so keeping the fur out off clothing and the floor can be a never-ending battle.

But do the pros and joys of owning a husky outweigh these cons? Noel Dagley, an experienced husky owner, says yes. But she suggests those who want to adopt huskies do their research before bringing a husky puppy home.

Photo at top: Gunner at the Husky Heroes event. (Siyan (Jen) Huang/MEDILL)

Genderqueer belly dancer pursues dancing dream after transition

By Siyan (Jen) Huang and Wen-yee Lee

Belly dance is usually considered a feminine dance. But now, it’s becoming more common to see men and people from the LGBTQ community performing the Middle Eastern folk dance.

Gabriel Vidrine, 36, a genderqueer belly dancer whose stage name is Kamrah, has been dancing since he was 21. The transformation from a woman to a man did not stop him from pursuing his dancing dream.

Photo at top: Gabriel Vidrine performs in a protest show on President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day. (Siyan (Jen) Huang/MEDILL)

Scientists seeking the gene that guides monarch migration

By Siyan (Jen) Huang

Each year, swarms of North American monarch butterflies make their way from Canada and the United States to central Mexico before the fall of winter. The monarchs don’t live long enough to make a return trip, so how do they know when and where they should go?

Ayse Trolander, a graduate student at the University of Chicago Department of Ecology & Evolution, is trying to solve the mystery of monarch migration. Her experiments point to something in the genetic makeup of the butterflies that prompts and guides them to head south to their winter home.

Photo at top: By studying an interspecies hybrid between the migratory monarch and the sedentary monarch, Ayse Trolander is trying to find the specific gene that guides their migration. (Siyan (Jen) Huang/MEDILL)

Teen climber continues his sport despite cancer and loss of leg

By Siyan (Jen) Huang

Climbing is a sport that requires great courage and strength.

I met 17-year-old Ian Vallejo, an agile climber who had lost a leg to cancer, right after his second round of chemotherapy for yet another cancer. He was pale and sitting in a wheelchair. It was hard for me to picture him climbing indoor rock walls and outdoor mountainsides considering his physical condition.

But one week later, I saw him hiking with a pair of walking sticks and climbing up a cliff in Arkansas. All doubts disappeared.

“If I can stand, I can climb.” That is what Vallejo said when people question whether he can climb.

(Video by Siyan Huang/MEDILL)

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“Not my President,” protesters chant at Trump Tower

By Siyan (Jen) Huang

[See related story of the night’s protest]

Around 10,000 people gathered in front of the Trump Tower in Chicago to march down the Magnificent Mile and other downtown areas in protest of Donald Trump’s election as president. “Not my president” became the refrain of many protesters.

Photo at top: Protesters at the rally and march. (Siyan (Jen) Huang/MEDILL)

Medill ElectionCast: Before the numbers come in

Election Day in Chicago is over. All that is left is to count the votes. Catch up with our team of Medill reporters who have been covering the election across the state of Illinois.

We will continue to post updates throughout the evening.

Published at 8:45 p.m.

Photo at top: Anchors Jasmine Minor and Katanga Johnson lead this afternoon’s coverage of Election Day.

Chicago Marathon champion outruns cancer

By Siyan (Jen) Huang

Cancer, a relentless killer,  gave hope to Serena Burla. Her cancer in her right hamstring brought her the courage and strength to run marathons.

Burla, 34,  was the first American woman to cross the finish line in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9. With an overall rank of the seventh in the female group and a time of 2:30:40, Burla finished the race just behind the four Kenyan runners and two Ethiopian runners who ranked one through six.

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